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ESOS FAQ

This section contains questions students frequently ask about the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.

For more detailed information on the ESOS Act, please see Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act. You can find out more about student visa conditions by visiting the website for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). For your program duration and other information regarding your program, please refer to your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

  • 1. What should I do if I move?
    • you must update your contact details on Access Adelaide within 7 days of changing your address or phone number
  • 2. When do I have to enrol?
    • you must enrol every year promptly during the online enrolment period
    • you must enrol for the full academic year at the beginning of the year
    • you must be enrolled the whole time you are in Australia (apart from scheduled breaks in teaching)
  • 3. Can I take more courses than I need for my degree?
    • you may undertake more courses than are required to complete your degree – as long as the extra courses and the required courses can be completed before your visa expires
  • 4. Can I undertake online, distance or cross-institutional study?
    • you can undertake a maximum of 25% of your program by online or distance education if it is allowed under the program rules 
    • you can not be enrolled only by online or distance education unless it's during a non-compulsory study period such as summer school
  • 5. Do I have to be full-time in every semester?
    • if you are a higher degree by research student you need to be enrolled full-time in every teaching session
    • all other students are not required to be enrolled full-time every study period; however, you are strongly advised to enrol in a 100% study load, which is 12 units in a semester
    • if you don't maintain a 100% study load you might not complete your program within the duration specified in your CoE
    • if you don't complete your program in the duration specified in your CoE, your visa can only be extended as a result of:
      • compassionate or compelling circumstances e.g. illness supported by a medical certificate stating that you were unable to attend classes
      • the University implementing an academic intervention strategy because you were at risk of not making satisfactory academic progress
      • you were granted an approved deferment or suspension of studies
    part-time study for coursework students
    • you must be enrolled in at least one course per semester and this must not be via online or distance education
    • if you choose to enrol less than full-time during a semester, you must take extra courses in another study period, such as summer school, to ensure that you will complete within the duration specified in your CoE
  • 6. Can I participate in a student exchange program?
    • you are eligible to undertake any study abroad, exchange or in-country studies program offered by the University, in a country other than your home country. However, if you are accepted into an exchange program, you must strictly follow the instructions in the offer letter that will be sent to you by the Program Manager, Study Abroad, or you may be prevented from returning to Australia
    • if you spend less than 6 months on exchange, any dependents who have been residing with you can remain in Australia while you are on exchange. However, you must make adequate provision for their care, schooling and financial support in your absence
    • if you spend more than 6 months on exchange, any dependents who have been residing with you cannot remain in Australia while you are undertaking the exchange program
    • you cannot undertake an exchange program in your home country
  • 7. Can I take time off from my studies?
    • you are expected to complete you studies without interruption
    • you must apply for leave according to the University's Student Leave of Absence Policy
    • leave will be granted for up to one year
    • DIBP has more restrictions on leave of absence than the University does
    • there are different regulations governing leave of absences for coursework and research students
    • taking a break from your studies may result in the cancellation off your visa, unless there are documented medical or compassionate grounds for the leave
    • the University will still hold your place for you if your visa is cancelled, but you will only be able to re-enrol in your studies if you are granted a new visa
    • you will normally be expected to leave Australia for the period of your leave, even if your student visa is not cancelled as a result of the leave
    • you must discuss any plans to take a leave of absence from your studies with an International Student Advisor at International Student Support
    • for more information on taking a break from your studies, please see here.
  • 8. What happens if I fail?
    • your student visa requires you to maintain satisfactory academic progress
    • simply failing one or two courses will not usually mean you will be deemed to have made unsatisfactory academic progress
    • you should be familiar with your Faculty's Review of Academic Progress Policy, which defines academic progress and performance
    • if you make unsatisfactory progress as defined by your Faculty, your progress will be reviewed and you may be precluded from further study
    • if you are precluded from further study your visa will likely be cancelled
  • 9. Can I stay in Australia for a holiday when I finish my degree?
    • you must leave the country by the time your visa expires
    • if you wish to stay longer to attend graduation, have a holiday or for any other reason, you must apply for a new visa
    • if you are not going on to further study in Australia you will not be able to extend your student visa for this purpose
  • 10. What happens if I complete my degree earlier than expected?
    • the University will report your early completion to DIBP
    • you will have 28 days from the date of the Univeristy's report to DIBP to either leave Australia or to secure a new visa - regardless of your student visa's original end date
  • 11. What happens if I know I will not complete my degree by the expected date?
    • if you don't complete your program in the duration specified in your CoE, your visa can only be extended as a result of:
      • compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. illness supported by a medical certificate stating that you were unable to attend classes)
      • the University implementing an academic intervention strategy because you were at risk of making unsatisfactory academic progress
      • you were granted an approved deferment or suspension of studies
    • if you believe that you will not complete in the duration specified in your CoE, you must discuss your options with your School
  • 12. Do I have to attend classes?
    • you are expected to attend all scheduled lectures, tutorials, workshops and other classes
    • if you are in a Foundation Studies program, a Pre-Enrolment English Program, or a VET course (Music or TESOL) the University will systematically monitor your attendance and report to DIBP where your attendance is unsatisfactory
    • if you are in a degree or diploma, the University may monitor your attendance and will report to DIAC where your attendance is unsatisfactory
    • in all cases if you do not attend classes you will risk failure and review of academic progress
  • 13. Can I transfer if I don't like my program?
    • Students who have the words "no change of provider" on their student visa label may not change the education provider of their preliminary or principal program within the first 6 months without obtaining a letter of release from the University and permission from DIBP before they change. This means you will need to spend 6 months studying a program at the University of Adelaide, in addition to any time you spend completing bridging studies or Foundation Studies.
    • Students will be required to provide evidence that exceptional circumstances exist justifying their change of enrolment if they wish to transfer to another institution before this time has elapsed.
    • Download the Application to Transfer Education Provider Form.
    • This condition does not apply to changing academic program within the same University. If you are considering changing your program, visit International Student Support or fill in the online Change of Academic Program form (please note: the online form is only active at certain times of the year).
    • Students who, at any time after arrival in Australia, wish to change their principal program of study must apply for a new visa in the subclass appropriate to their new principal program, if the new course is in a different education sector (eg. changing from a program at TAFE to one at a university).
  • 14. What if I am studying on a business or tourist visa?
    • then the ESOS Act does not apply to you and you do not need to follow the advice above. You should consult your visa conditions and DIBP for detailed information
  • 15. When will I be reported to the Federal Government?
    • you will be reported to the Department of Education and DIBP whenever there is any change to your enrolment status. Some of these reports are for record-keeping only and will not have any impact on your student visa. Others will impact on your student visa status.
    • instances where you will be reported include where you:
      • do not commence your studies
      • start your program late
      • need to extend the duration of your program
      • withdraw
      • take an approved leave of absence
      • complete your program early
      • do not enrol at the required time
      • do not enrol in at least one face-to-face course per semester in Adelaide (online and distance education is not considered face-to-face)
      • transfer to another University of Adelaide program
      • transfer to another institution
      • make unsatisfactory academic progress
      • fail to meet attendance requirements for Foundation Studies or PEP
  • 16. When will I be at risk of my student visa being cancelled?
    • decisions regarding the cancellation of your student visa are the sole responsibility of the Australian Government
    • the University of Adelaide does not and cannot cancel your student visa
    • your student visa may be cancelled by DIBP in the event that you breach your visa conditions
    • the University of Adelaide is required to report academic-based breaches of your student visa conditions
    • the University is not required to report non-academic-based breaches of your student visa conditions, such as breaches relating to your individual work rights
    • breaches the University will report to DIBP that may result in the cancellation of your student visa include when you:
      • do not commence you studies
      • withdraw from your studies
      • defer your studies where no compelling or compassionate grounds exist
      • complete your program early
      • make unsatisfactory academic progress
      • do not enrol at the required time
      • do not enrol in at least one face-to-face course per semester in Adelaide (online and distance education is not considered face-to-face)
      • fail to meet attendance requirements for Foundation Studies or PEP
  • 17. What happens if my student visa is cancelled?
    • you have to leave Australia within 28 days, unless you successfully apply to the Minister for the cancellation to be revoked, or successfully apply for a different type of visa
    • if you do not leave within the required time you will be subject to detention and removal from Australia. You may also face a 3-year exclusion period during which you will be ineligible to apply for a new visa to Australia
  • 18. Where should I go if I am having problems?
    • if the problems are directly related to a course or program, you should go to your faculty office
    • for any other problems you should go to International Student Support. An adviser there can assist or refer you to the Counselling Centre, Language and Learning Service, Mathematics Learning Service, Learning and Disability Access, Education and Welfare Officers, Accommodation Service, Student Policy and Appeals, Child Care Services, Careers Services, Health and Dental Services, Employment Services and Overseas Students Association, as appropriate
  • 19. Can I complain if I am not satisfied with a service or area of the University?
    • you may make a suggestion or lodge a complaint about any academic, administrative or support services of the University, through the Student Complaints Policy
  • 20. Can I change to another University once I have completed the Pre-Enrolment English Program (PEP)?
    • Students who have the words "no change of provider" on their student visa label may not change the education provider of their principal program within the first 6 months without obtaining a letter of release from the University and permission from the Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) before they change. This means you will need to spend 6 months studying a program at the University of Adelaide, in addition to any time you spend completing the Pre-Enrolment English Program.
    • Students will be required to provide evidence that exceptional circumstances exist justifying their change of enrolment if they wish to transfer to another institution before this time has elapsed.
    • To download the Application to Transfer Education Provider Form click here (pdf 82kB).
  • 21. What happens if I fail the PEP?
    • you can sit the IELTS and try to qualify for entry to a University of Adelaide program that way, or
    • you can apply for a place in a CRICOS-registered program at another institution, or
    • you can leave Australia
 

International Student Support (Kenneth Wills Building)

Call us +61 8 8313 4828
Opening Hours: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm
 
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